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Controversial intersection design won’t hurt businesses, UDOT says

Agency said it has learned its lesson after ThrU Turns hurt businesses in Draper, Kearns.

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Cowley said congestion there now is so bad that it often takes 10 minutes to travel the short distance from Main Street past the I-15 interchange and beyond Layton Hills Mall accesses. UDOT says the ThrU Turn will cut that delay in half — and prevent waits that would double over the next 25 years without changes.

"People in this area recognize that there is a need for something to be done. Any help would be appreciated," he said. Of two dozen alternatives, the ThrU Turn is the cheapest and will have the least negative impacts on businesses.

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Support • "We absolutely do believe it is a good solution," said Kent Andersen, economic development specialist for Layton. "And we’re at a point where doing nothing is not an option."

Anecdotally, many people say they avoid businesses in that area because of congestion, Andersen said, including motorists sitting at lights for up to four cycles.

One reason he says businesses believe the ThrU Turn won’t hurt is that drivers trying to turn from Main Street to Hill Field Road already are driving down the road, making U-turns and returning for an easy right turn to avoid long waits for turn signals. "They call it the Layton shortcut," Andersen said.

Bill Wright, community and economic development director for the city, acknowledged: "There are a few businesses with concerns about it. There are two sides to every issue." But he said most are happy with it.

UDOT plans to begin construction this summer, and Cowley said plans call for the project to be completed well before Thanksgiving so it won’t hurt Black Friday shopping at Layton Hills Mall.

Sachs, the Common Cents operation manager, still is a bit uneasy, especially after his ThU Turn experience in Draper. "I think I’m OK," he said. "But any time UDOT changes movement, it can affect business."

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